Benjamin Franklin Papers

From Benjamin Franklin to John Torris, 7 August 1780

To John Torris

Copy: Library of Congress

Passy, Aug. 7. 1780.


I received yours of the 31st. Past. I hope you will obtain a favourable Answer to your Memorial, which I Shall endeavour to promote. All the Proceedings relating to the Flora will be received by the Council of Prizes, who will decide upon the whole, therefore I can give no farther Orders relating to her Cargo. I enclose the Judgment on the Black Princess’s Ransoms in her Cruise of may last.6 The subsequent ones are not yet come to hand. I congratulate you on her late Successes, and have the honor to be, Ser.

P.S. Please to inform me whether a Captain Jhon formerly of the Hopewell, taken By the Black Prince & now at St. Orient with his Wife a Pilot and Boy; remains there as a Hotage for Ransom Money not yet paid, or whether he is merely a Prisoner, together with the Pilot and Boy. I desire your Answer to this by return of Post; M. De Sartine having wrote to me7 to know if I chose to send them in the Cartel to England to be exchanged.

M. Torris.

[Note numbering follows the Franklin Papers source.]

6BF enclosed a copy of the certificate, which resembles other handwritten certificates used for multiple prizes (e.g., XXX, 361–3). It condemned five prizes, the Live Oak (£100 ransom, John Reed ransomer), the George (£100 ransom, Peter Thomas ransomer), the Saville (£400 ransom, John Yeates and Jhon [John] Graham ransomers), the Fortunes Favor (£105 ransom, Williams Phlips [Philips?] ransomer), and the Triton (£3000 ransom, Robert West ransomer). These prizes were taken by the Black Princess on May 29: Clark, Ben Franklin’s Privateers, pp. 133–4.

7Above, Aug. 5.

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